There are thousands of rare diseases, making it difficult to remember, much less understand them all. Patient Worthy is here to help, explaining and raising awareness for rare conditions. Today we will explore a rare kidney disease, membranous glomerulonephritis (MGN), with the help of one of the top nephrology blogs, SlowItDownNCKD.
Before we can understand the entirety of the condition, we should begin with basic definitions. First off is glomerulonephritis, which is a condition that changes kidney structure, leading to swelling and inflammation. Now we need to know what differentiates between glomerulonephritis and membranous glomerulonephritis. According to Healthline, MGN occurs when the inflammation causes problems with kidney function.
Diving deeper into these terms, we can see just which part of the kidney is impacted in MGN: the capillaries of the renal glomeruli. The glomeruli are clusters at the end of kidney tubules, and they are responsible for filtering any waste out of the blood.
MGN And Symptoms
Now that we have a basic understanding of what MGN is, we can examine how it impacts patients. Affected individuals see large amounts of protein in the urine, low levels of protein in the blood, high levels of triglycerides, swelling, and high cholesterol. Other symptoms include:
- Weight gain
- Blood in the urine
- Poor appetite
- An excessive need to urinate during the night
The problem about these symptoms is that they’re similar to a number of other conditions, both rare and common. This can make diagnosis more difficult, a problem that many rare disease patients experience.
While there is no cure, doctors can address the cause of the condition if it is known, and they can also treat specific symptoms. For example, if one’s MGN is the result of a medication or different condition, doctors will work to fix that problem.
Possible treatment options include diuretics, corticosteroids, blood pressure medications, diet changes, and immune suppression drugs.
For some, specifically three of every ten, symptoms resolve after five years without any treatment. An additional 25-40% of affected individuals with see partial remission.
Hopefully this was able to give you a better understanding of membranous glomerulonephritis, as increased awareness helps to reduce the stigma that comes with rare diseases, quicken the diagnostic process, and improve treatment.